Reflections on Carsharing
Reflections on Carsharing
written by Patrick Nangle
Soon approaching my first anniversary at Modo and in the industry, it’s a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned to date. My education has been greatly facilitated by my colleagues at Modo, regular interactions with our many stakeholders and most recently by participation at the Car Sharing Association (CSA) conference in Montreal.
To summarize in a few words, I am delighted to be onboard at what I believe is a pivotal moment in the evolution of carsharing. The rest of the world has woken up to the benefits that early entrants like Modo and its members have known for decades, that carsharing complements public transit, biking and walking to make possible a lifestyle free of the burden of car ownership. The value of not having to own a car or second car, but having one available when you need it, will vary by individual, and typically includes some composite of improved personal economics and reduced environmental impact.
A very significant catalyst to the rapid growth in shared mobility today is the relatively recent entry of well-funded and highly motivated service and technology providers. These include technology companies of all sizes, from start ups to global giants like Apple, Google and Uber, and virtually all auto manufacturers. They are driving rapid business model experimentation and the probable convergence of some of the existing and emerging models we are familiar with: station-based carsharing, free floating carsharing, peer-to-peer carsharing, ridesharing, ride-hailing, carpooling, on-demand transit, autonomous vehicles. What motivates them? An emerging market potential for new forms of personal mobility that is measured in trillions of dollars.
And they are not alone. Public transit system operators and local governments are also pro-actively driving carsharing adoption, increasingly recognizing the mutual benefit that comes from collaboration and co-operation. We hear that in our conversations with them.
What does all this mean for a purpose-driven, carsharing co-operative like Modo? That by working co-operatively with the right partners, making thoughtful strategic choices and staying focused on our Purpose, our chances are better than they have ever been to make a difference, for our members and the communities we serve.
Yes, Canada has seen four consecutive years of record new vehicle sales and there remains much to be done. At the same time though, Modo, and carsharing generally, is growing even faster. An unstoppable tidal wave of change is building, propelled by lifestyle affordability challenges, climate change realities and big investments in technology. I expect these next few years will be very exciting and am optimistic about what we can achieve together as we continue to make carsharing available to more people in more places.